[Sca-cooks] candied ginger

Stefan li Rous StefanliRous at austin.rr.com
Mon Feb 23 22:19:25 PST 2009

I said:

<<< I can understand why you would want young ginger and ginger which
has been sitting around so long that it has dried out, but I didn't
think ginger was a "seasonal" item. Or is it showing up now in the
NY supermarkets for some other reason, similar to the fruitcake
ingredients showing up in the late fall in anticipation of customers
buying them to make fruit cakes for the Yule season? >>>

To which Adamantius replied:
<<< Do they actually show up only in the late fall? I ask because many
serious fruitcake makers have already made whatever fruitcakes they're
going to make by Thanksgiving at the latest: it takes about a month
for them to fully develop their flavor; two is better.>>>

I was implying that they only showed up in fall, but they suddenly  
become much more prolific and the selection of candied fruit gets  

<<< As for the seasonal nature of the pink-tinged young ginger, as  
far as
I know it shows up in markets in January and July because those are
when it's harvested in the Southern and Northern hemispheres,
respectively. It's like apples in New York or Pennsylvania in
September or October; it's not timed that way because that's when
people want to make pies.>>>

But the apples get ripe seasonally and then won't last for a year.  
Since ginger is a root, does it actually have particular seasons it  
has to be picked in? Or left in the ground does it pretty much stay  
the same, so that you can pick it at anytime during the year? The  
older, tougher ginger is how old? Years? If so then does this just  
mean that it needs to be picked young, but not necessarily during a  
particular season? Keeping it from Drying out would simply mean using  
it within a certain time of harvesting along with good preservation  
techniques, whether it was picked in August or December.

Or does ginger grow to harvesting size within one year?

I said:
<<< I've found candied ginger which is both actual slices of ginger that
has been candied, and pieces where it appears the ginger has been
ground or powdered and then mixed with sugar syrup since it doesn't
have any of the fiber of the other. I prefer the former. >>>

Adamantius replied:
<<< Is it conceivable you simply aren't noticing any fiber, but it's
there? I ask only because baby ginger is a lot less fibrous than the
older stuff (think of the ginger eaten with sushi), and even less
visibly so when cooked in sugar syrup. I suppose it's possible to make
the kind of processed candy you describe, and it would not be
unprecedented in similar practices like the melon cakes that no longer
contain any actual winter melon, just a candy-like goop that formerly
was candied melon, then  a small amount of melon in a gum-like, ultra-
heavy syrup, and now goo with little or no melon.>>>

It's possible I missed some fiber, but those chunks were also more  
evenly cut, like pieces of cut candy. All of the pink, sushi ginger  
I've seen has been in thin, flatish strips, not cubes like the stuff  
I was thinking of. The texture was more like gum drops. Where does  
the pink color come from in the sushi ginger? Is it added or is the  
actual ginger root used for this pink in color?

THLord Stefan li Rous    Barony of Bryn Gwlad    Kingdom of Ansteorra
    Mark S. Harris           Austin, Texas           
StefanliRous at austin.rr.com
**** See Stefan's Florilegium files at:  http://www.florilegium.org ****

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